Adopting a Hedgehog: Everything You Need to Know

So you’re thinking about a new family member, an adorable pet that’s far from ordinary, right? Well, hedgehog adoption might be just what you’re after. With their charming faces framed by quills, hedgehogs are captivating creatures. And the good news? Hedgehog quills aren’t like porcupine’s – no barbs at the end and far less sharp. And yes, they do have fur too, but only on their faces and bellies.

Is Hedgehog Adoption Right for You?

Adopted Hedgehog

While hedgehogs make lovely pets, adopting one isn’t for everyone. These tiny creatures are on the skittish side and they aren’t all that keen on being handled excessively. Plus, they’re nocturnal, meaning they’re most active when the rest of the world is sleeping. But if the thought of having a 4 to 9-inch long pet roaming around at night sparks joy, you’re on the right track.

A Note on Legality

Before you get carried away with dreams of hedgehog adoptions, there’s an important factor to take into consideration. In some states, owning a hedgehog is, unfortunately, illegal. In others, you can own one, but only if you’ve secured a permit from the local or state government. So before you commit, it’s crucial to check out the laws in your area.

Selecting Your Future Pet & Their New Home

Domesticated hedgehog being fed at home

You’ve decided to adopt, and we’re excited for you! Here’s a little wisdom on what to look for when choosing your pet, and how to make them feel right at home.

Finding the Right Hedgehog

Size up your potential pet when they’re around six weeks old, just after weaning. An energetic hedgehog with bright, clear eyes is a good sign. And remember when you’re meeting for the first time, pick up your new friend from the side—gently do it.

Cage Considerations

You’ll want to prepare a secure home for your little escape artist. Be it an aquarium or a wire cage, the key is to ensure a tight fit without compromising on ventilation.

  • Aquarium: Make sure the lid is secure, but sufficiently ventilated
  • Wire cage: Opt for small holes – ones that your future pet cannot slip through

Bedding Basics

Aspen shavings work great as bedding for your hedgehog. Avoid aromatic wood shavings as they can cause respiratory complications. And don’t be alarmed if your new hedgie munches on their bedding – it’s part of the package.

Must-have Hedgehog Comforts

Hedgehogs must be kept snug and warm. A heating pad on a low setting under only a section of the cage is a great solution. This allows your hedgehog to move to a cooler location when needed. Additionally, don’t forget to provide an exercise wheel to keep them in top shape.

It’s often said variety is the spice of life. With pet hedgehog adoption, you’re set to bring home an extraordinary companion. With time and patience, you’ll make their life as fascinating as they are.

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